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HomeScience Fiction StoriesCARBON PLANET - CH 2 / 4


Theories about the clouds we breathe. It's a trailer of a novel I am still working on.


Chapter 2

    Work is nothing but the ordinary; as the large lakes around the factories stay still, and while the black rivers flow to the streams, the road also breezes with cars that the plants assembled. The burning coals continue to fume clouds all over Michigan for another day, and Sacha just turned off the conveyer of where he supervises. The fifty-eight-year-old man who immigrated from Puerto Rico in his early twenties started out as a Janitor. That janitor then improves his English, now works as an assembly line supervisor.

    “Break! Let's take a break guys!” Jesse yells.

    Jesse is their manager. Like Jacob, Jesse is also the second generation from his family who works in the same lineage as an Automotive Assembler from Plant Twenty One’s Fisher Body, and then to the General Motors Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. The six feet tall, forty-eight-year-old man always dressed as if he works for Wall Street, but without the coat. He does have a tie and wears a khaki jacket. Sometimes a black leather jacket or that ketchup stained aquamarine bubble vest. He loves that vest so much, the attention he gets on Fridays always makes his morning start out good, and be ready in time then for another weekend to enjoy. But the little stain bugs him each time he sees it. He thought: Maybe it’s not ketchup. He tried all kinds of home remedies, but nothing can remove that stubborn color. But he's stuck with it for he can't find the same type of brand. The tag is off, by scissor just like the rest of his clothes. From his charming appearance and the character of his look, everybody at work nicknames him the Yuppie.

    “What? So early,” said Marty to Jacob. And Jacob leaned by the side of the car where the gas filler cap. They are working on a 1983 Pontiac 2000 Sunbird. Just like Jacob, the mustached forty five-year-old Marty also has a mullet, but longer. He also wears the 1982 purple jersey of his favorite local team, the Michigan Pontiac Panthers. His jersey is covered by his jean jacket with a big patch on the back of his good old favorite rock band, The Who. There are few buttons on the left chest of his jean jacket, and they are mostly random English Bands like the Beatles, except for the Ramones and a Peace Sign. But his also evolving, as the rock scene are getting a lot faster. That place is, “Los Angels huh?” he said to Jacob with a little cheer. He also wears the purple boots by Dr. Marten, similar to Will, and they were bought at the same place when they visited New York from their three weeks vacation. They spend the majority of their times in Studio 54, where Will had a desire to go and behaves in an ostentatiously skilled and assured way to the dance floor. And then to the CBGB for the punk scene for Marty. Both guys love each one of the clubs in New York City, without dictating which once was the best. It was a vacation, and the two friends partied. One thing about Marty is his dark hair. Where his sister Lorain is blonde and so are his three kids Grace, Marcy, and Glen. He thinks he got it from his old lineage of one of the most celebrated war chief, Pontiac of the Ottawa Nation. But Jacob is not buying it. He thinks he is Italian, perhaps French.

    Jacob then raises his eyebrows to Jesse signing what it is. This better be good he thought.

    “Just a few words with the man, I just thought we make this sooner because you won’t see this face until Sunday,” said Jesse. Jacob smiles. Will delighted with the news, and he even did a little dance as if he is in the Scene, a local Detroit Club. A version of the television program called the Soul Train. Will is the youngest member of the crew. His thirty-three. Making a scene, the rest of the remaining lines just smirks at the short dance.

    “The rest of you, finish up of what you're doing, and we call it a break!” Jesse yells at the other workers.

    “Bamonus pappy,” Will said to Sacha, in his Jamaican accent.

    Marty is from the engine department, where he drills the final assembled engine to the car, and already he is done training for his replacement. Marty and his family are on their way toward living in California, and to work to another GM assembly line. Temporarily, he takes someone’s role as a hood assembler with Jacob. Will does the bumpers with Sacha on the next row of the production line. Sacha will then be replaced by a recruit, and back on helping Jacob when Marty leaves to California.

    “I see you're wearing that Jacket again this morning,” said Jacob. “Did you buy a new one?”

    “Nah, same one. Freaking stain just won’t leave my jacket.”

    “Maybe it’s not ketchup… you sure you don’t remember throwing a body at the lake?”

    “Believe me I have a list,” he said jokingly. “But I remember my man,” they both laugh. “How’s your boy these days, is he prepared for the big day?”

    “Keep reminding him, everyday man. He hasn't been physical lately. But he gets motivated once he gets the hang of a job.”

    “We get to discuss that too Jacob,” Jesse said. “Just what we need, your boy could single handed those bumpers,” he said smiling petting Jacob’s back.

    “So are you ready for the game this Sunday Sacha?” asked Marty.

    “I already told you, I have to go to church. But yes, my whole family will be watching,” Sacha replied.

    “Sounds like fun too,” he replied back. “How about you Will?”

    “I can’t wait this Sunday mon,” Will said.

    The crew entered the cafeteria and all of the other assembly workers. Some stand still finishing up; while on their table, Sacha asks about Marty’s visit to California just from yesterday for a three weeks vacation. His brother in law’s father passed away. After the funeral, he used the rest of the weeks touring Northern California from Fremont to San Francisco with his wife and kids. And it was their second-time visit. The first time was his sister’s marriage. And he and his wife Lisa became enamored with California. Since then, they began economizing to relocate. Disneyland is the planned next visit.

    “Those days are over man,” dictated Marty. “Sorry Sacha but them days is gonna be replaced by Lisa I am telling you.”

    “So you are switching side or something?” said Sacha with his Puerto Rican accent. “What’s in California? And my brain is too smart to be replaced by robots,” Sacha points his head at Marty. “You still need people like me to push his button.”

    “No worry, you can push my button anytime pappy,” said Will and Sacha with his old man laugh, and grab Will by the side to share the laugh.

    “Oh do that robot dance you did the other day,” said Sacha.

    “Maybe next time mon…” Will said.


    “You just never know man, it was just amazing to see this computer back on the West Coast,” said Marty. “It was just like a small television in a box, but it can do a lot of shit man… and it was called Lisa.”

    “It’s not your wife Lisa now your speaking of right?” Said Jesse, and the guy's laugh.

    “The kids and I were laughing about that. The kids said their mom is a robot,” Marty replied and smiles.

    “It’s apple,” said Jacob. “And I don’t think it’s going to stop for a long time,” Jacob has been engaged in reading it lately since he seen it from a cover of a magazine called Time. And thereof, his knowledge of being aware of the evolving computer grew to silent paranoia. “Year after year, they always come up with a newer model. And each time it gets even smarter.”

    “Doesn’t that tell you something man?” said Marty. “I am telling you man, fifty years from now or sooner these things will take over.”

    “I wouldn’t mind assembling a flying car soon or later,” Jesse said.

    “Not if the engine we have still makes more money, these computers will just make that easier. Same thing about water as fuel, but it’s illegal,” Jacob replied.

    “It’s called Patriot Missiles,” said Sacha. “These things never get old… don’t let those Yuppies get into you Jacob, their just illusions. That’s why I came here.”

    “You’ve been feeding your minds with too many details. Relax mon…” said Will. “Pappy is right… he told me that one time, and it’s just an illusion. Feel much better with ganja.”

    “Neh, waging wars as always,” Marty said. “My old man said the same thing after working at Warren.”

    “You mean at the Chrysler place?” asked Jesse.

    “The old man has been there for over twenty years…” Marty said.

    “Yeah, so did my uncle,” said Jesse. “They built them watcha ma calls it, war tanks.”

    “You know it, man,” he looks at Sacha. “Well, you got your answer there good old buddy.”

    “What, California?” Sacha responded.

    “You betcha… peace and rock and roll baby.” Marty said. “I like the weather there… and the Burritos. I know you like Burritos.”

    “Not bad, but we don't eat Burritos,” Sacha’s answered. “I’m good with the fish and chips here.”

    “What did you guys chat about in the office anyways,” Jacob asked.

    “That one thing I don’t mind doing,” Jesse replied.

    “What flying cars? Marty asks chuckling.

    “No kidding,” Jesse said. “Next year, will be having Lisa around guys. Cost over five billion dollars, if we can have some aircraft company get on our side.”

    “You kidding me,” Jacob said.

    “That’s a lot of money to invest,” says Sacha. “And I am not even done paying off my mortgage. And what if the Russians push the buttons on the other side of the continent?”

    “Relax mon,” said Will. “I’m sure they got everything figures out, right boss?”

    “Of course,” Jesse replied. And before it gets anyone feeling much worse, he changes the subject, “Are you okay with your son, with few stash from Will over the weekend Jacob?” ask, Jesse.

    “Congratulation! How old now is Junior by the way,” asked Will.

    “His turning twenty,” said Jacob.

    “Can’t wait to show him how work is done, much respect he comes to the right place mon.”

    “Thanks, Will,” and he turned to Jesse, “You are the captain of the boat, man,” he said. “Hopefully, he’ll lose some weights by then.”

    “Well, the miracle is in front of you my man,” Jesse said.

    “You are on the right team, my friend,” said Sacha. “I was two hundred twenty-five. Now, look at me heh! One fifty, and it is all meat!” And he taps on his belly.

    “No, that's the Ganja mon,” and again the two laugh.

    “Well, you heard him. Just glad I am spending my one week vacation with my good team here.”

    “A week?” said Marty.

    “Nah, I’m already done with the final cruise with the wife and kids,” Jesse said. “And it was great… Florida. I say save it, for retirement.”

    “It’s a paid vacation, and you are not going to take it?” Sacha ask.

    In the nick of time, Jesse was hesitant to say of why exactly he only want one week instead of three, is that something he discussed with his boss just a few minutes ago, that made him feel appalling near in the course of time. The company is approximately at a future risk, and he is willing to give full measure to keep it moving. Then Gloria comes to their cafeteria.

    “Looks who’s here, it’s Sacha’s son,” Marty said. And it is Gloria.

    “Sorry guys, I have only enough for my him,” she said. And she holds a two Pepsi Cola with a straw on each one. Sacha’s then got up from the guy's table.

    “I will meet up with you guys later,” Sacha said. His daughter Gloria gets the same treatment, equally like any one of the remaining guys in the company, and she can’t complain about that. Few times, harassment did happen, and Gloria is not the type that would keep silence or slide away issues like that. In fact, she challenges that to come to her. And the men that did is no longer working at the company. The stocky build with a D cup bra size in a five foot three frame is always wearing a bandana as forklift worker at their warehouse. Today, the color around her short hair is purple, representing the UFSL Michigan Pontiac Panthers.

    “Are you still down with California Gloria?” Marty ask.

    Gloria turns around smiling and said, “Not if we win the Championship this first season,” she said.

    “Panthers baby!” he cheers.

    “Panthers all the way man,” she cheers back pointing the sky as she is walking away with her dad.

    “Well, you know where to find me if we win anyways.”

    “Of course,” Gloria said. “Lisa already gave me the California numbers.”

    “What! How?” Marty wonders.

    “Oh oh, someone gotta watch his wife often…” Jesse jokingly said.

    She turned to them again and said, “Fremont right?”

    “Yes, Fremont. I’ll be doing the same thing man, at…”

    “Right, at NUMMI,” she said.

    “You know it... if I am the manager like Jesse here. I am there for you man.”

    “Thanks, Marty,” and Sacha join his daughter to another table. With him, are four chicken empanadas in a brown bag that he bought from a local bakery before work. “Catch you guys later,” she said.

    “Later Gloria,” the guys said.

    Sacha, also respect Gloria as she is, and treats her like a son. But once in blue; when he looks at her with his grandkids from his two older daughters named Cynthia and Emma, now married, her giggles reminds him of his little princess, that suits the name, Gloria.

    “Come’on dad, have fun a little. Why not go to Lake Erie with the guys this Sunday.”

    “Nah, you know I can’t do that. I have to be with your mother this Sunday. Both morning and afternoon service. Besides, I will rather have more fun watching the game with you guys.”   

    “Okay,” Gloria said, and she just smiles.


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